Saturday, October 4, 2014

Smile for the camera

Haven't had a set of full bike pix in a while since the mods have been made. So this is the way it stands now.

Silver Edition?

I know the speedo/odo was replaced, but am now trying to find out what "SILVER EDITION" means.

UPDATE: found out that the Silver Edition was made only in 2003 so that dates the speedo/odo.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The best-laid schemes...

Robert Burns wrote,
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men 
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
And so it goes with my pride and joy tail lights. After riding with a friend, I did a quick check of the tail light functioning: running light, turns, stop lights, etc., and found that the center (LED) running light was not on, however the brake lights worked fine (both signals lights are wired to brighten on stop along with the center brake), as well as the running lights in the turns housing.

Huh, must be bad bulb, so I changed it out to a regular bulb and sure enough, no running light and in fact, no stop light, and the turns were light up solid like the brake was on. I suspected a bad ground so broke out the meter and sure enough the ground on the center socket was "open".

Sad bunny. I had to open up my entire wiring harness to give enough relief to pull the socket out of the housing to solder the ground back on. This involved a complete tear down of the rear fender to get to the wiring harness, etc. Enjoy the glorious mess.

I'm glad to report it's all fixed. Everything came out in the end. I hope this is not a repeated process. I'm starting to rethink my rear light system. At some future incarnation, I may just go for two turns wired as stop lights like I presently have with the three light solution. Live and learn.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Horse with No Name

Decided to follow the practice of debadging the plastic emblems off the tank. Looks very clean. No name.

Followed this thread and removed the tank emblems using dental floss as a "saw" to cut the double face tape between the tank and emblem and then cleanup with hair dryer to soften the tape to remove.  A little Goo-Gone and the job was done.

One small detail, previous owners must have replaced the original "burgundy" tank (damaged somehow?, since the speedo/odo was replaced as well) with a new primed tank and had it custom painted. They then proceeded to tape the emblems on and also used HOT GLUE to secure the emblem ends. No matter, the dental floss cut through the hot glue easier than the tape.

I say the tank was painted on primer because the fender had the same custom paint scheme, but they painted over the original burgundy (same as side panels which weren't painted) but never bothered to scuff up the burgundy to ensure good retention. The over-paint flaked off in places where I cut into the fender (bob job and mounting holes for the tails) leaving nice, clean, shiny burgundy in spots. Who doesn't prep prepainted surfaces before repainting?

Now I'm rethinking the final paint job. May keep tank and paint the sides and fenders to match either the "red" or the "grey" on the tank.

What do you think?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Water flows downhill!

Water flows downhill! So does gasoline. So why the need to pump gas downhill from the tank to the carb? Which is worse, ignorance or apathy? Who knows, who cares. There is no need for the fuel pump.

Following the information in this forum thread (sorry, registration required), I removed the fuel pump. What do you think? BIG change in the looks on the left hand side.

In the beginning, Yamaha put on this huge fake boob cover.

This boob is plastic chrome. And even the little tab that holds it at the top broke off leaving just the screws at the bottom to hold it on. On a real Harley, this chrome blob is the horn which serves some purpose. But the fake boob covers some really ugly stuff.

This stuff is a fuel filter and fuel pump. The pump seems to be needed to pump the gas DIRECTLY ACROSS to the carb on the other side. The thread cited above suggests God-created gravity can flow fuel sufficiently to the carb if the small float bowl jet is replaced with a larger variety.

Look how much cleaner when the ugly stuff is removed!

Now a little detail. The stock jet is a #2.  I used a later recommendation to use a #3 jet from a different Yamaha applications and ordered it. It was around $30 with shipping. Don't pay much more.

I won't bore you with the jet installation. Just don't lose any parts during the installation. I found a small o-ring on the ground after I had reinstalled the tank and carb. I was able to take just off the fuel bowl. The o-ring is for some kind of accelerator pump.

Here's the final picture.

Some notes where I did different things than the thread. I reused the metal fuel line that comes across between the cylinders and I reused the exiting filter and fuel line. The only expense was for the jet and a 3mm hex wrench to take the fuel bowl off.

Oh, I also had to relocate the choke from just under the fuel pump bracket. I cut off the existing choke brake and moved the choke to the RH side on the air cleaner mount. YMMV depending on your air cleaner setup.

This was a very worthwhile modification. It visually opened up the cluttered left side of the engine making it open clear through. It also eliminated a source of failure, the fuel pump.

What do you think?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Light it up!

Bought the 5.75" Bates style lamp to replace the monster headlight. I mounted it on the existing lamp bracket. Just had to drill out a small mounting hole that was already centered in the bracket to fit the larger bolt. This lamp is considered a "Springer" lamp.

Much cleaner looking. Now the front turns look out of place.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Turns on the cheap!

I had a set of left over LED amber turns from another project so cogitated how to use them on the cheap with the bobber project.

I was inspired by another bike, the Doc's Chops BOLT:

where the turns were pulled in and hidden under the head lamp.  I figured I could do something like that using the existing turn bracket.  For review:

The existing turns are already under the head lamp, but stick out like a coat rack.  So I pulled them off and cut back the tubular bracket down to size.

I fattened up the screw mounts on the LED turns with some 3/4" OD rubber tubing which just slides into the tube of the old turn mount.  I slotted the ends and used pipe clamps to make the turns snug.

A little paint on the rusty chrome:

And put everything back together:

The stainless pipe clamps give it a steam-punk feel!

Here I was able to catch the LED blinking on:

Now the damn lamp bucket looks HUGE.  Can't cheap out the headlight.  Will require purchase of a 5" Bates style lamp.  That will have to wait.  I woke up to one of my giant Like Oak trees down across my horse fence.  I'm going to have to pay a crew to finish the clean up and removal. :(

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Less is more

I saved myself about $100 in powder coating fees and improved the looks of my bobber project by pulling the fork covers off.  This has inspired me to work on the front end more aggressively.  (Moderated by extreme lack of funds to move any quicker.)  Next will be to remove the front turns and replace them with something a little less tacky.  And then that huge bucket headlight will be replaced by a smaller one.

What do you think so far?



I left the front fender off as well.  Still undecided about what to do with it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Heel/Toe? Hell, No!

OK, so for the past seven years I drove a Ural Sidecar motorcycle with pegs and heel/toe shifter.  It all made sense.  Heel upshift, toe downshift.  Even had a technique where I would rest the boot tip on the peg to raise the heel for a clean and steady upshift.  Body position was upright and there was a clean vertical line from body through the hip, to the ankle and foot for the shift.

Then, everything changed.  I traded the Ural for a cruiser styled two wheel bike.  Again with heel/toe shifter but this time with floor boards.  All controls are "forward" of the center line.  I struggled with the heel shifter for the upshift.  Finally, I just gave it up and used the toe portion for every shift, up and down, like most cycles on the road.

The heel upshift required removing the entire foot from the floor board to "stomp" on the heel lever. This is most unnatural.  Using just the toe worked fine so the heel lever seemed unnecessary.

In addition, the left foot was constrained in rear placement by the heel lever.  Done and done.

I cut off the heel lever leaving just the toe.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Time for Amputation! Cut it off!

I finished cutting the fenders.  The actual part of the "bobber" project where you bob the fenders.  

I started with the front. I first made a test cut to figure out the best approach, cutting a waste section off. Then I moved to the actual cut on the fender.  Both the front and back of the fender.  I left the back longer to help with rain displacement.

I was running without any front fender, but wanted to see what a sufficiently cut fender might look like. Jury is still out.  What do you think?

The real cut required was on the rear.  Some pix will explain it better.

I taped up the fender on the paint side to cut through.  And used a rubber band to layout the cut line. I then marked carefully along the line with marker and cut it.

After the amputation! (Yes, I readjusted the cut line quite a few times AFTER the pix above.)

I removed the tape and then filed the rough edge to eliminate any sharp edges.

Next I covered everything to paint just the cut edge.

The final product.

Complete view.

Next big steps are painting and powder coating selected chrome bits.  I need to figure out the total cost by getting estimates.  I only want to tear it down once.  But for now, it's rideable.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Rear Action -- finally pulling pieces together

Finally got the time and parts to complete the bike rear, removing the old tail light and turns and installing the new constructed tail light and turns.  Here's a couple of pix.

First pulled off the old lights.

Next pulled the fender off completely to make installing the new light wiring a bit easier than trying to stand on my head and look up into the dark fender.  I was able to use the original wiring harness and just add push plugs to the new lights and wire up to the end of the old harness.  I just looped the excess wire of old harness inside the fender.

Here is shot of the running lights.  Now have tail and running in the turns.

I plan on wiring up the turns to come on as stop lights when the brake light comes on.  Will use relays to permit the signals to work even if the brake is pushed.  More on that in a future post.

Installed plate and tested run, stop and turns.  Will cut the fender somewhere below or just above the end of the plate.

What do you think?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Tail light and rear turns coming together

Final got all the pieces together for my custom taillight/rear turns.

Bought a commercial tail/stop with plate bracket and then constructed the turnsignal mount.  Did the cutting and threading myself, but had a shop do the welding.

Next step is to have the mount powder coated and then I will install permanently and wire it up.  The old tail/turns will be removed and then I will cut the fender.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lights, Camera, .... Planning

The tail light and rear turns arrived yesterday.  I positioned the tail using some double-faced tape to see where it would look best on the curved fender.  Something like this:

This puts the light facing directly backwards with the plate on an angle.  I attached an old plate to see where the fender might be cut and outlined it with black tape.

The plate would hang over just a bit of the fender.

Next I replaced the orange lens with red lens on one of the turn signals and in the process found that the turns have a running light in them. Very good.  Extra light in the rear.

I tried a couple of locations.

I'm thinking of mounting the turns off the tail light using a tubular mount like on the front of the bike. This will take a bit more planning to find suitable tubing.  More as I progress.

My plan is to NOT disable the existing lighting until I have the new lighting working, then I will remove the old, and THEN cut the fender.  I want as little down time as possible during this build.